Courtney Grace Peterson, founder of Logic & Grace, a New-York-based digital communication consultancy on the art of storytelling, the power of competition and the importance of female friends support.
I’ve always been an editor and a content creator. I started my career working at Conde Nast and had the opportunity to learn from some of the best photographers, stylists, and writers in the industry. During those years, I met a lot of companies with great stories to tell but a lack of resources to hire a big agency.
Launching Logic & Grace was a leap of faith, but I am so grateful that I trusted my gut and intuition. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure how to describe what I was doing. For some people branding is a wishy-washy concept. Yet branding is oftentimes the intangible on the balance sheet and where meaning is established over time through consistent and positive experiences — whether that be on social media, online, or in-store. And that is a very tall order when a company is responsible for creating consistent and meaningful experience across so many different platforms.
ON KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH OTHER FOUNDERS
As a founder, time management is the most challenging side of business, partly because I find myself giving so much to my clients, but also, because I am still trying to figure out how to scale the company thoughtfully without burning myself out. When you’re an entrepreneur it’s much harder to create boundaries — yet finding ways to recharge is even more important when you throw your full energies behind something.
I went to a woman’s college and feel very fortunate to have a close network of amazing friends that are also entrepreneurs and small business owners. We call each other every day and that has certainly gotten me through some challenging moments. In many ways owning a small business forces me in many ways to be out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Seeking out mentors and advisors to learn how to tackle what makes me the most uncomfortable has transformed my ability to problem solve and confidently work through challenges.
Supporting women is really important. Even if it’s at an event or a meeting and you meet someone that you click with, follow-up, make sure you carve out some time to invest in those relationships.
“As women, we tend to be too critical of ourselves and it’s really important to take the time to get together and share”
I often meet with another close friends of mine who has a PR consultancy, and we talk about our anxieties, about how we think we didn’t do enough or how we did something not as good as we thought we would. We help each other to be kinder to ourselves. As women, we tend to be too critical of ourselves and it’s really important to take the time to get together and share.
I want my clients to do well, but there’s only so many hours in a day, and if I had an advice to give to my younger self it would definitely be to be kinder to myself! I have to almost remind myself daily because I always want to do better, but there’s a healthy boundary between being too critical and doing the best you can.
ON COMPETITION AND CREATIVITY
New York is such a competitive place. It’s easy to compare yourself and knock yourself down, but, at the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself and the work you do. I believe in talent and good work, and that doing right by your clients will prevail in the end.
“Creativity is not something that can be rushed”
Finding a balance between creative and business is not always easy. The client will always be the client. So at the end of the day, we certainly want to make them happy. But I do believe that with enough communication and understanding you can meet in the middle and create amazing work without compromising too much.When it comes to creativity, for me it’s all about trust. That means trust with your clients, trusting your creative instincts, and trusting the creative process. Creativity is not something that can be rushed.
AN AUTHENTIC LIFE
One piece of advice that has really stuck with me is ‘Live an authentic life’ (spoken by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at my college graduation!) And I think that’s really important in anybodys career. It’s not necessarily about having a passion, but being curious and doing something that makes you happy, you have to tap into that, in whatever way it might manifest in your career. If you’re doing something that is important to you, there’s a certain level of happiness that you can always guarantee. I was very happy as an editor, but I’m happier now because I believe in my work a little bit more.
For me living an authentic life means I’m creating work that’s in line with my goals and my values. I think a lot of unhappiness is a result of pursuing a career or lifestyle that’s in conflict with your values and goals. If there’s a disconnect with that, a lot of stress can stem from it. Working with integrity, being honest, and creating work that you believe in has made me the most happy in my career.
COURTNEY ADVICES ON BRANDING
When working with direct-to-consumer brands, the consumer is as important as the client. I’m a big fan of doing customer avatar exercises and really thinking about what you want a customer to experience. The best place to start is to ask yourself how you want people to feel when they shop or experience your brand. We are very grounded in User Experience in everything we do.
“Great content is no longer a competitive advantage, it must be exceptional”
Think about the woman who’s going to buy or use your product or services. You have to ask yourself what she reads, what she does during her free time, where she lives, and so on. You have to tap into creating content that comes from a truthful place. Great content is no longer a competitive advantage (especially when marketing to Millennials) it must be exceptional, authentic, and engaging. When you go to a website these days, most everyone asks some version of this question: why do you matter and why should I trust you?’ It’s a chaotic world of competition —and the bar is set very high. My favorite brands are those that use content in a really powerful way, some good examples are Violet Grey, M.M. La Fleur, and Nike.
My goal for Logic & Grace is to become a new type of consultancy, a cost-effective alternative for start-up companies and small brands looking to launch or establish a direct-to-consumer business online.
COURTNEY’ 5 TIPS
Believe in the art & science of storytelling
Storytelling is at the core of everything we do. Our mission is to build brands through great design, compelling content, and strategic thinking. Content and design are just some of the tools in our arsenal to bring a brand story to life.
Balance the two P’s: Presentation and Performance
When it comes to building a successful website, presentation and performance must always be in equilibrium — one can never outweigh the other in importance. Beautiful content that Google deems unimportant (or can’t even find) is unfortunately useless.
The consumer is as important as the client
When you truly envision the end consumer, you create a brand experience that is catered to their interests and aspirations, not just demographics. User experience drives everything that we do — will this be an easy check out experience? Does this type of tone resonate with their audience? Humanize the data.
First class aesthetics are a prerequisite
Great content is no longer a competitive advantage (especially when marketing to Millennials) it must be exceptional, authentic, and engaging. When you go to a website these days, most everyone asks some version of this question: why do you matter and why should I trust you?’ It’s a chaotic world of competition — the bar is set very high.
Lack of charisma can be fatal!
Borrowing from the words of artist Jenny Holzer. We are energized by what we do and excited about the work we create.